Wenn in einem James Bond-Film der Oberschurke wieder im letzten Moment an der Ausführung seines Plans zur Zerstörung der Welt gehindert wird, dann verspürt man oft so eine absurde Enttäuschung - zu gern hätte man die Katastrophe gesehen. Nun, was sich da unten in New Orleans derzeit abspielt, ist kein Film, und je mehr ich über die potentiellen Auswirkungen dieses Hurricanes erfahre, um so mehr hoffe ich auf irgendeinen Ausweg in letzter Minute für die Leute da unten.
Ich zitiere mal aus der Warnmeldung des US-Wtterdienstes (und ja, die schreiben immer alles in Großbuchstaben…):
AT LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL FAILURE.
THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL. PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. MANY WOOD FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED.
HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY…A FEW POSSIBLY TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. MANY WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.
AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD…AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED.
PERSONS…PETS…AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.
POWER OUTAGES MAY LAST FOR WEEKS…AS MANY POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.
Wenn man dazu dann noch die Erkenntnisse aus diesem NPR-Bericht aus dem Jahr 2002 nimmt, wird das ganze verdammt beängstigend. Da werden die Auswirkungen eines Hurricanes der Kategorie 5 auf New Orleans so beschrieben:
[T]he part of New Orleans that most Americans—most people around the world—think is New Orleans, would disappear.[…]
Hurricane Georges was one for which the track had the potential of flooding the city. So the people were given a mandatory order to evacuate the city. […] At the last minute, Hurricane Georges faded to a weaker storm and it veered away, which was lucky. Because the evacuation was a fiasco. [..][T]hey got into massive traffic jams and many of them spent the worst part of the hurricane either on the highway—stopped— or had pulled off to the side of the road.
Now supposing the hurricane had really walloped New Orleans? Here are all of these thousands and thousands of people in their cars trapped on the side of the road. What would happen to them?
“Many of our evacuation routes are subject to flooding,” says Suhayda. “And they would be washed away, and there would be really no way for help—that is the emergency services people—to get to them to help them.”
[The] levees would doom the city, because they#039ll trap the water in. […] Everything that the water has carried in is going to be there. It#039s going to have to be cleaned out— alligators, moccasins and god knows what that lives in the surrounding swamps, has now been flushed -literally—into the metropolitan area. And they can#039t get out, because they#039re inside the bowl now. No water to drink, no water to use for sanitation purposes. All of the sanitation plants are under water and of course, the material is floating free in the community. The petrochemicals that are produced up and down the Mississippi river—much of that has floated into this bowl… The biggest toxic waste dump in the world now is the city of New Orleans because of what has happened.
Combe says nobody in America has confronted these issues across an entire city. Not after an earthquake. Not after floods. Not after September 11.
Ich fürchte, dass wir in ein oder zwei Tagen wissen werden, ob das Panikmache war oder nicht…